Postcard from Campeche, Mexico: Masking death to attain immortality

The quest for eternal life. We’re not sure it worked for the elite dignitary who wore the jade face of a divinity into the depths of his tomb at Calakamel almost 2,000 years ago, but the jade has a lasting power of its own. Following the Calakamel mask’s vacation trip to Paris and Mexico City, the impressive jade relic kindly returned home to Campeche in time for our visit.

In preparation for an excursion to one of the ancient Mayan sites, we toured both of Campeche’s archaeological museums: Museo Arquelogico de Campeche housed in the ancient Fuerte de San Miguel, one of the fortifications built to frustrate pirate attacks, and Baluarte de la Soledad in the base of one of the city’s gates. The two collections are small but significant, and both are well explained and well displayed.

A jade mask would be a pretty expensive fountain of youth purchase today, but short-term mortal appearance appears to take priority over dreams of immortality. Retin-A might represent a bargain alternative.

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